Jodha Akbar is endowed with a well-researched script and the screenplay is simple, magnificent and captivating. Jodha Akbar is an epic film, but fortunately the film does not come across as boring and uninteresting. In fact although the film is a tad long, it keeps you engrossed right till the end. Jodha Akbar is based on the professional and personal life of Mughal Emperor Mohammed Jalaluddin Akbar. Its central plot consists of the marriage of alliance that takes place between Emperor Akbar and his defiant Rajput princess, Jodha Bai. Emperor Akbar's biggest challenge is to win over the love of his wife Princess Jodha Bai, who is adamant not to give her heart to a man who has reduced her to a mere pawn. The film has a simple story which is translated on screen with utmost simplicity and clarity. But the epic also has magnificent, grandeur aspects like the cinematography, costumes, songs and finally the superlative performances. Ashutosh Gowariker has executed the film with a rare brilliance and the film is outstanding in all aspects.
Jodha Akbar has been produced by Ashutosh Gowariker and Ronnie Screwala. The film has been directed by Ashutosh Gowariker and it stars Hrithik Roshan as Emperor Akbar, Aishwarya Rai as Jodha Bai, Sonu Sood, Niketan Dheer, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Illa Arun, Punam Sinha etc. The music of the film has been directed by A.R Rahman and the screenplay has been done by Ashutosh Gowariker and Haider Ali.
The film is set in the 16th century and centres around a love story that develops after the marriage of alliance that takes place between Emperor Akbar and Rajput Princess Jodha Bai. The daughter of King Bharmal, Jodha Bai is married off to Akbar as an alliance formed between her father and Emperor Akbar. However Jodha Bai is not in the least bit happy that she has been reduced to a pawn. She vows not to succumb to the high and mighty Emperor's demands and is defiant and adamant to maintain her dignity. She even demands that before the marriage, Emperor Akbar meet her conditions and he agrees. Emperor Akbar now not only has to rule and win over his people but also win the love of his beautiful bride. Meanwhile alongside many betrayals are being plotted and planned against Akbar by many who are jealous of his success.
Ashutosh Gowariker succeeds in creating an opulent, grand and lavish setting for his epic film. The sets, costumes, battlefield scenes, performances etc combine to make the film extravagant and enthralling. Ashutosh Gowariker's execution of the scene where Akbar is shown taming an out of control elephant leaves one spell bound. The scene where Jodha Bai and Hrithik's mother, Illa Arun confront each other is done profoundly. The romantic sequences between Hrithik and Ash where he catches her eyeing his bare torso, their sexually charged sword fight, the scene where Hrithik demands to eat in the same plate where his wife Jodha has eaten etc create a remarkably romantic setting. The climax has been handled with utmost sensitivity and maturity, and it has been executed with flair and tact. Even the battlefield sequences with all the warriors, elephants, horses etc has been done with a lot of care and effort. There is plenty of romance, drama and action that keeps one riveted throughout the film.
The cinematography by Kiran Deohans is outstanding and the difficult battlefield sequences are shot with clarity. Even the songs have been shot beautifully capturing the little nuances effectively. The lavish and opulent sets by Nitin Desai does complete justice to this magnum opus. The music by A.R Rahman is divine and suits the epic mood and ambience of the film tremendously. The music of the film tends to grow on you, and the picturisation is splendid. 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' has grandeur and the beautiful orchestration makes it opulent, 'Jashn-e-Bahara' is a soulful love song and 'Khwaja Mere Khwaja' is a divine lyrical and musical gem. K.P Saxena's dialogues are admirable and first-rate. They depict the emotions of the character be it anger, love or hatred. The action sequences be it on the battlefields, the personal sword fight between the villain and Hrithik etc, are executed in an exceptional manner. The editing too especially for a historical film is done skilfully. The costumes by Neeta Lulla looks resplendent and adds to the 16th century drama. All these details co-ordinated and executed together by Ashutosh is truly commendable as it is no easy task.
Finally the performances lend the final refinement and elegance to this superlative product. Ashutosh Gowariker has assembled the perfect cast, Hrithik Roshan as King Akbar is top notch, his physical persona, his expressions, his dialogue delivery everything needs to be applauded. Once again it is clearly evident that he delivers his finest performances. Aishwarya Rai as Jodha Bai looks beautiful, vulnerable and strong all at the same time. Her expressions and eyes show a determined will and her delicate features reveal her beauty. She delivers her performance with poise and dignity and is flawless. The rest of the characters including Sonu Sood, Niketan Dheer, Illa Arun, Kulbhushan Karbanda, Rajesh Vivek etc perform brilliantly. Amitabh Bachchan lending his rich and powerful voice suits the grand epic perfectly.
Ashutosh Gowariker needs to be commended for his vision and clarity with which he has etched out this film in which everyone's tremendous hard work is clearly visible. The story may or may not be factual as the many controversies surrounding it suggest. However there is doubt that it remains an exceptional film that is enthralling, inspiring and captivating. The performances and execution of the film take it to a dizzying height. A film that will be remembered for a long time to come and one that is truly extraordinary. A must watch, especially for those who believe that an epic, historical film will be boring, Jodha Akbar definitely proves that with sheer hard work, belief and talent nothing is impossible.